For Martha Ingram and Lyons Creek Bellini, the Pennsylvania National Horse Show is full of first- time memories, and Friday was no exception. The pair took home the Grand Championship for Amateur Owner 3’3″ Hunters. In recognition of their performances over the two days of competition in the 3’3″ Amateur Hunter Riders 18-35 division, the pair were named Champion on their way to being named Grand Champion. This is the first time Ingram won a Championship at the PA National in all the years of competing at the event.
Ingram and Lyons Creek Bellini, a 12-year-old Polish Warmblood gelding owned by parents John and Stephanie Ingram, won the division by virtue of winning the last class. “It all came down to the last,” said Ingram. “He knows when it’s game time. It could have gone either way, but he really turned it on.”
The Ingrams purchased Lyons Creek Bellini in 2015 from Hunter Holloway, and since then the pair has won consistent ribbons, but never a Championship at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show.
“This horse show is so special for Bellini and me,” said Ingram. “I tried him and bought him here. Now to have won this Championship with him, I am so happy!”
Missy Luczak-Smith had a similar tale to tell about her mount Askaro. “I tried Askaro here four years ago,” said Luczak-Smith. “At the time I was at my horse limit. My husband had said that we were at the cutoff point. If I want a new horse, you have to sell one. So, I didn’t tell my husband and bought him. And the rest is history. I told my husband a few months later and he was actually glad I owned him.”
The purchase of Askaro has paid off, as Luczak-Smith and the beautiful 15-year-old gelding won the 3’3″ Amateur Hunter, Riders 36 and Over Championship, another first for Luczak-Smith. “This is my first championship here,” she said. “Last year he was Reserve Champion which was great fun. I just love showing at this horse show. I have been showing here since I was a teenager. It is such great fun and win or lose it is so nice to do this with your friends. I think I channeled my inner Martha [Ingram] today.”